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Prejudice & Racism

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A sister blogger of mine, Ms. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez, whom I’ve known for over 3 years, posted this information to me in an e-mail and I feel a need to share it with those who follow, read or are interested in this blog.

About Black Lives Matter: There has been confusion around the group as defined in the media and by other non-Blacks. The organization is for peaceful protest to ask for fairness. Gene Hall explained in a 4-line statement, the meaning of Black Lives Matter.

 

Here is the statement as I found it on a meme:

Let’s Be Clear, We Said:

Black Lives Matter

We NEVER Said

ONLY Black Lives Matter

That Was The Media, Not Us

In Truth, We Know That

All Lives Matter We’ve Supported Your Lives Throughout History

Now We Need Your Help With

Black Lives Matter

For Black Lives Are In Danger

―Gene Testimony Hall

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Here are three explanatory articles concerning white privilege and racism.

 

Dark Matters by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Occasionally, I personalize dark matter’s place in the universe. Especially the part about matter and dark matter feeling one another’s gravity but not otherwise interacting. Never was this more real to me than during the summer of 1991, when I attended an annual conference near Atlanta, Georgia, of a national physics society that I belonged to. That autumn I would begin my astrophysics postdoctoral research appointment at Princeton University. Conferences are comforting places. You feel as if you’ve known people your entire life even though you’ve never met because everyone’s life path strongly resembles that of your own. Among professional physicists, for example, we all got good grades in school (last checked, physicists are disproportionately represented among college seniors who graduate magna and summa cum laude).

We’ve all solved the same homework problems in physics classes. We’ve all read the same books. We wield nearly identical vocabulary sets when describing the physical world. And we’ve all felt the occasional aspersions cast by pop-society on our intellectual abilities. By the time of the society banquet, held the last night of the conference, people have loosened up. Discussions commonly shift to personal matters and other things that have nothing to do with the subjects and themes of the conference. By the end of this particular banquet, a dozen of us from several adjacent tables collected the unfinished bottles of wine and retreated to one of those common-rooms on the top floor of the hotel. We talked (and argued) about the sorts of things that the rest of society would surely consider to be geeky and pointless, such as why cans of Diet Pepsi float while cans of regular Pepsi sink. That one was new to me, although I did have latent memories from the end of long parties where all the ice had melted in the beverage cooler and some soft drinks were floating while others were resting at the bottom.

We lamented the fact that the transporter in the television and film series Star Trek does not transport perfectly across spacetime. Apparently, the teleported copy sustains an extremely small but quantifiable level of degradation when compared with the original—a perversely humorous fact that was well-known among the Star Trek cognoscente. The questions to be debated started rolling: How many times could you be transported back and forth between the starship and a planet before you started to look different? What part of your body would change? Was it your DNA? Was it your atomic structure? Or would you one day beam back to the ship without a nose? That night was rich in the expression of applied mental energy. What else could you have expected among intellectual soul-mates, at the end of a full meal, near the end of a full conference, while sipping good wine into the late evening? Around midnight, while discussing momentum-transfer in automobile accidents, one of us mentioned a time when the police stopped him while driving his car. They ordered him from his sports car and conducted a thorough search of his body, the car’s cabin, and the trunk before sending him on his way with a hefty ticket. The charge for stopping him? Driving twenty miles per hour over the local speed limit. Try as we did, we could not muster sympathy for his case, although a brief discussion of the precision of police radar guns followed.

We all agreed that on a straight road, the geometry of a radar gun measurement prevents your exact speed from being measured unless the police officer stands in the middle of the oncoming traffic. If the officer stands anywhere else, such as to the side of the road, the measured speed will be less than your actual speed. So if you were measured to be speeding, you were certainly speeding. My colleague had other encounters with the law that he shared later that night, but he started a chain reaction among us. One by one we each recalled multiple incidents of being stopped by the police. None of the accounts were particularly violent or life-threatening, although it was easy to extrapolate to highly publicized cases that were. One of my colleagues had been stopped for driving too slowly.

He was admiring the local flora as he drove through a New England town in the autumn. Another had been stopped because he was speeding, but only by five miles per hour. He was questioned and then released without getting a ticket. Still another colleague had been stopped and questioned for jogging down the street late at night. As for me, I had a dozen different encounters to draw from. There was the time I was stopped late at night at an underpass on an empty road in New Jersey for having changed lanes without signaling. The officer told me to get out of my car and questioned me for ten minutes around back with the bright head lights of his squad car illuminating my face.

Is this your car? Yes. Who is the woman in the passenger seat? My wife. Where are you coming from? My parents house. Where are you going? Home. What do you do for a living? I am an astrophysicist at Princeton University. What’s in your trunk? A spare tire, and a lot of other greasy junk. He went on to say that the “real reason” why he stopped me was because my car’s license plates were much newer and shinier than the 17-year old Ford that I was driving. The officer was just making sure that neither the car nor the plates were stolen. In my other stories, I had been stopped by the police while transporting my home supply of physics textbooks into my newly assigned office in graduate school. They had stopped me at the entrance to the physics building where they asked accusatory questions about what I was doing.

This one was complicated because a friend offered to drive me and my boxes to my office (I had not yet learned to drive). Her car was registered in her father’s name. It was 11:30 PM. Open-topped boxes of graduate math and physics textbooks filled the trunk. And we were transporting them into the building. I wonder how often that scenario shows up in police training tapes. In total, I was stopped two or three times by other security officers while entering physics buildings, but was never stopped entering the campus gym. In that conference hotel room, we exchanged stories about the police for two more hours before retiring to our respective hotel rooms.

Being mathematically literate, of course, we looked for “common denominators” among the stories. But we had all driven different cars—some were old, others were new, some were undistinguished, others were high performance imports. Some police stops were in the daytime, others were at night. Taken one-by-one, each encounter with the law could be explained as an isolated incident where, in modern times, we all must forfeit some freedoms to ensure a safer society for us all. Taken collectively, however, you would think the cops had a vendetta against physicists because that was the only profile we all had in common. One thing was for sure, the stories were not singular, novel moments playfully recounted. They were common, recurring episodes. How could this assembly of highly educated scientists, each in possession of a PhD — the highest academic degree in the land — be so vulnerable to police inquiry in their lives? Maybe the police cued on something else. Maybe it was the color of our skin. The conference I had been attending was the 23rd meeting of the National Society of Black Physicists. We were guilty not of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), but of other violations none of us knew were on the books: DWB (Driving While Black), WWB (Walking While Black), and of course, JBB (Just Being Black). A year after the conference, Rodney King was pulled from his car by the Los Angeles Police and, while hand-cuffed, tased, and lying face-down on the street, was beaten senseless with night sticks. What sometimes goes unremembered is that the deadly riots that followed in South Central LA were not triggered by the beating itself but by the subsequent acquittal of key participating officers by a court of law.

Upon seeing the now-famous video of the incident, I remembered being surprised not because Rodney King was beaten by the police but because somebody finally caught such an incident on tape. The next meeting of the National Society of Black Physicists, held in Jackson, Mississippi, happened to coincide with those Los Angeles riots. I was scheduled to give the luncheon keynote address on May 1, 1992, exploring the success or failure of undergraduate physics education in the academic pipeline that leads to the PhD. But while watching the helicopter news coverage of the fires and violence that broke out that morning, I had a surreal revelation: the news headlines were dominated by Black people rioting and not by Black scientists presenting their latest research on the frontiers of physics.

Of course, by most measures of news priorities, urban riots over-ride everything else, so I was not surprised. I was simply struck by this juxtaposition of events, which led me to abandon my original keynote and replace it with ten minutes of reflective observations on NSBP’s immeasurable significance to the perception of Blacks by Whites in America. -Neil deGrasse Tyson

Thank you Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

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‘When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression’ by Chris Boeskoo

I’ve never been punched in the face. Not in an actual fight, at least. I’m not much of a fighter, I suppose… more of an “arguer.” I don’t think I’m “scared” to get into a fight, necessarily — there have been many times I have put myself in situations where a physical fight could easily have happened.

I just can’t see myself ever being the guy who throws the first punch, and I’m usually the kind of guy who DE-escalates things with logic or humor. And one of the things about being that sort of person, is that the other sort of guy — the sort who jumps into fights quickly — tends to not really be a big fan of me. Not when he first meets me, at least. They usually like me later. Not always. You can’t win ‘em all…

When I moved to Nashville, I didn’t really know anyone. I got a job as a server on my second day here. And before long, I was one of the servers the management favored, which meant I got better shifts, better sections and better money.

About nine months after I had been there, a new guy started. We instantly disliked each other. He didn’t like my smart mouth, and I didn’t like how he walked in and immediately acted like he owned the place. He carried himself with this annoying confidence — like it was his world, and he would tolerate our being in it, as long as we stayed out of his damn way.

There were also rumors that this guy had spent some time in jail, and it was very clear that he was not a “DE-escalater.” He was the sort of guy who knew exactly how much he could bench, you know? And you could sense that — just below the surface — there was always this restless energy that silently dared you to say something. He was an intimidating dude.

So it bothered me a little bit when — only a month after he started working there – he was already getting rotated into some of the good sections. Another mouth to feed meant less money for me. He was a good server though.

But nothing he did got under my skin nearly as bad as this: When Chuck (we’ll call him “Chuck.” His name wasn’t Chuck, but it was definitely a name in the “Chuck” category of names. It certainly wasn’t a pushover name like “Chris”) would walk toward you, healways expected you to be the one to move out of the way. He didn’t do this when walking toward girls.

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Turns out there are other people…

But if he and another guy (me, especially) were heading toward each other, he would head straight for the other guy — not making eye contact — and he always assumed he had the right of way. If not, you would get bumped by this stocky, solid mass of aggression who seemed to be just itching for someone to question his intended path. And really, this seemed to best describe how Chuck lived his whole life — walking straight at people, and expecting them to move. Until one day…

I had had enough.

I kept thinking, “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?” Just about everyone else in the world seemed to agree that if two people were walking toward each other, both people would acquiesce a little, leaning the side closest to the other person back just so.

What gave this guy the right to just expect that I’m going to move out of his way? And then another thought started tugging at my brain: “What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?”

I was done playing by his rules. And that evening, as he walked quickly toward me in the aisle of the restaurant (we both were fairly fast walkers), I walked toward him — and I didn’t move. I’m not a giant of a man, but I’m solid enough to hold my own — especially when I see a collision coming — and the impact spun him around.

Right there, in front of guests, he immediately said, “What the F*CK, dude!?”

I said, “You alright?”

He was furious, and insisting to know why I had just bumped into him.

I said, “Chuck, I was just walking. Why did you assume that I was going to move out of your way?”

He followed me around the restaurant, angrily attempting to escalate things. He ended up stopping me by another table, and when I said something along the lines of “Welcome to planet Earth,” he shoved me. Hard. And not like a shove where you put your hands on someone and then shove.

“Equality can feel like oppression. But it’s not. What you’re feeling is just the discomfort of losing a little bit of your privilege.”

It was the sort of shove where his hands were already moving really fast when they hit my chest, and it made a pretty loud noise. All of his bench-pressing muscles let lose on me — this person who dared question his right of way — and I was knocked about two steps back.

I walked away from him, and I could feel my heart beating in my ears. I thought about what I should do, if I should say something to a manager (that didn’t seem like a good idea), if I should say anything more to Chuck (that seemed like an even worse idea).

I decided to just try to avoid him for a bit and let him cool off. About 15 minutes later, the GM asked to talk to me. He said that a guest had seen Chuck angrily shove me, and had complained and described what happened (describing it as him “hitting” me, but it was definitely a shove).

I told him what happened — about him always assuming I was going to move, about me simply walking and not moving, and about the arguing and the shove that followed. It was a corporate restaurant, so he took everything very seriously. He filled out an incident report, asked me if I wanted to press charges, and told me if I wanted him gone, he was fired. I said that I didn’t want the guy to lose his job. I just wanted him to recognize that other people had every right to be there that he did.

And so, I recently thought about this story again after I had just read this amazing quote (a quote for which I tried very hard to find an attribution, but kept coming up “Unknown):

“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

And things started making a little more sense to me. All this anger we see from people screaming “All Lives Matter” in response to black protesters at rallies. All this anger we see from people insisting that their “religious freedom” is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married. All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot…

They all basically boil down to people who have grown accustomed to walking straight at other folks, and expecting them to move. So when “those people” in their path don’t move — when those people start wondering, “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?”; when those people start asking themselves,“What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?”; when those people start believing that they have every bit as much right to that aisle as anyone else — it can seem like their rights are being taken away.

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Can a brother get some “peach”?

Equality can feel like oppression. But it’s not. What you’re feeling is just the discomfort of losing a little bit of your privilege — the same discomfort that an only child feels when she goes to preschool and discovers that there are other kids who want to play with the same toys as she does.

It’s like an old man being used to having a community pool all to himself, having that pool actually opened up to everyone in the community, and then that old man yelling, “But what about MY right to swim in a pool all by myself?!”

And what we’re seeing politically right now is a bit of anger from both sides. On one side, we see people who are angry about “those people” being let into “our” pool. They’re angry about sharing their toys with the other kids in the classroom.

They’re angry about being labeled a “racist,” just because they say racist things and have racist beliefs. They’re angry about having to consider others who might be walking toward them, strangely exerting their right to exist.

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This is the “Again” of “Make America Great Again.” Don’t worry, they’ll just open some swim clubs and make the membership really expensive…

On the other side, we see people who believe that pool is for everyone. We see people who realize that when our kids throw a fit in preschool, we teach them about how sharing is the right thing to do. We see people who understand being careful with their language as a way of being respectful to others. We see people who are attempting to stand in solidarity with the ones who are claiming their right to exist — the ones who are rightfully angry about having to always move out of the way, people who are asking themselves the question,“What if I just keep walking?”

Which kind of person are you?

I should mention that “Chuck” and I eventually became friends, proving that people who see the world very differently can get along when they are open to change, and when they are willing to try to see the world though another person’s eyes. There is hope.

Chris blogs at theboeskool.com about Jesus, politics and bathroom. You find him on Twitter and Facebook.

This post originally appeared on TheBoeskool.

Thank you Chris Boeskoo

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Why I’m a Racist… By beyondtheglasswall

I am a white american male. I’m married to a beautiful blond-haired green-eyed woman and have two amazing blond-haired blue-eyed boys.  I was a blond-haired blue-eyed child who grew up in suburban New Jersey in a solid family with a mother, a father, a brother and two dogs. I lived a life marked by opportunity and forgiveness; and while I may not have always had “much”, I have always had the benefit of the doubt.  I was raised to treat everyone equally, regardless of race, or any other demographic for that matter. And while my town may have been predominantly white, I certainly didn’t grow up isolated from other races and cultures.  But even with the upbringing and exposure I was blessed with, I’m probably still a racist.  I don’t mean racist like a hate filled bigot who dehumanizes and devalues the lives of others based on skin color.  I mean that I am uncomfortable with, ignorant of and distant from racial inequalities that exist in my country. It is okay for me to admit this.  It doesn’t make me evil, it makes me ready for change.  This admission took two things: research and honesty.  Over the last couple of years I have read, watched, listened to and participated in countless discussions on the topic coming from a broad range of sources.  Through this process I was able to realize the aforementioned realities. Which is great for me, but for purposes of this post, let’s unpack them a little.

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I am uncomfortable with racial inequalities that exist in my country. I live my life day in and day out and only rarely am I forced to confront these realities. Certainly the media, social and otherwise, shine a light on the issue, but that is not what I mean.  Reading a powerful blog post or an inspiring tweet does not constitute confronting anything.  What I mean is that when I get pulled over, shop in a store, go for a job interview, meet a new person for the first time, etc… I expect to be judged by who I am.  Yes, I am tattooed and bearded so I’m sure that on occasion someone generalizes about me, but I don’t worry about it because I know that once they get to know me they will move beyond those judgements. And I assume that they will eventually get to know me, because even with their judgement, they will give me the benefit of the doubt.  I live my life benefiting from other people’s glass walls.  That is simply not true for people of color.  They are forced to confront it every single day.  Perhaps not in an overtly bigoted and hateful way (although I’m sure that happens too), but in the “deficit of the doubt.”  The security guard that makes a mental note that they are there, the woman who locks her car door as they walk by, and yes, the times they get pulled over for driving while black. (No matter how much or how little you think that happens, we all know it happens.)  So you see, while I am very uncomfortable when forced to confront a terrible reality that I can generally avoid, my friends and neighbors of color are forced to confront it every day.  Consequently, they have formed a thicker skin to the subject and are more free to discuss it.  This can easily be misunderstood as being rash or aggressive because it creates an uneasy feeling in me. Let me put it this way: we all have that person in our lives who always manages to say the one thing that makes everyone in the room uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a friend or coworker, maybe it’s your cousin or your sister-in-law; whoever it is, our attitude is generally that it is their problem.  We feel like they are doing something to us, because we are feeling uncomfortable with what they are saying or doing, rather than taking responsibility for our own feelings.  Until I can acknowledge that I feel more uncomfortable talking about racial inequality than people who have been forced to deal with it every single day of their lives, I will never be able to get over myself enough to be a part of the solution.  And if I’m not a part of the solution, I’m a part of the problem.

I am ignorant of the racial inequalities that exist in my country.  I was recently watching a Sunday service from North Point Church.  In the service the lead pastor, Andy Stanley, invited two African American men who were also christian leaders to be a part of a discussion about recent events and racism in general in this country.  They both explained the reality that they were taught how to behave if they ever got pulled over by the police. wallet They talked about it as if it was just another part of growing up.  An obvious lesson like don’t drink and drive or always pay your bills.  This may not seem so strange until they described exactly what they meant by “how to behave if you ever get pulled over”.  One of men relayed that he was taught that you never reach for your wallet.  Now, I understand that if you are being addressed by a police officer you don’t want to be erratic or make any sudden moves, but the degree to which this lesson was ingrained in him as an African American young man was startling.  It ran so deep in his heart that when he heard about recent events he admitted that there was a part of him the thought to himself, “Why’d you reach for your wallet? You know you’re not supposed to reach for your wallet.”  I will teach my boys to always be respectful of police. I will teach them not to resist or run if addressed by police and to always be upfront and honest, but I will not have to teach them not to reach for their wallet.  I cannot imagine feeling like I have to teach my children how to protect themselves from the people who are meant to protect them.  If ignorance is defined as lack of knowledge, education or awareness then I most certainly ignorant of the racial inequalities that exist in our country.  The beautiful thing about ignorance, though, is that it is easily remedied; but not without willingness and intention.  There is a video that has been circulating recently showing several people sitting in a diner, all of whom are white except one.  The waitress comes out and brings all the white patrons pie.  The African American man then asks the waitress, “Where’s my pie?” to which the other patrons respond, “Why are you making such a big deal? All pie matters.”  It is meant to illustrate the tension between #blacklivesmatter & #alllivesmatter.  I think it is an excellent illustration except that it misses one of the most important factors.  It would have been for more accurate if the white guys who had received their pie were blind-folded.  Because whether or not we mean to, most of us are blind-folded to the things that people of color deal with every day.  That is not our fault, but whether or not we stay that way is on us.

My discomfort and my ignorance can be attributed primarily to one thing: I am distant from the racial inequalities that exist in my country.  I live in New Jersey.  I am not someone who has gone their whole life without interacting with people of color.  I am not someone who is solely informed by the media in regard to cultures and races outside my own.  I have friends, coworkers, neighbors, mentors and family members who are people of color but I am still distant from the racial inequalities that mark their lives.  I have never made it a secret that I was a “rebellious youth”.  And by that I mean that I was a criminal.  I made very bad decisions and did a lot of awful things.  Some things that I will never be able to fully make amends for.  I have, however, never spent more than a weekend in jail.  I have always attributed the reality that I am a free man to God protecting me and allowing me to learn my lesson without prison time.  I still absolutely know that to be true.  However, I have to acknowledge that my “get out of jail free cards ” came, at least in part, due to my ability to catch a good sunburn in 15 minutes.  I also regularly share with people how grateful I am for all of the opportunities I have been given to do things I really wasn’t qualified for.  I have been allowed behind the scenes in a lot of situations that shaped who I am and developed me in my field with no explainable reason.  While I will never really know for sure, I have to wonder if my experience would have looked the same way if I didn’t.  The “deficit of the doubt” that people of color experience throughout their lives is something that I am only beginning to understand.  And that understanding is really only an intellectual one.  It is often said that the greatest distance in the world is 18″, the distance from your head to your heart.  I will always remain distant from the deficit of the doubt until I allow it be hit close to my heart.  The question then is: How?

Know someone.

I don’t mean know someone in that way that white people tend to reference when racism comes up in conversation.  That, “One of my best friends is black” way.  I mean I have to enter in.  I have to make it my business to overcome my uncomfortability;  I have to be intentional about educating myself and raising my awareness so that my ignorance can diminish; and I have make it personal.  I need to let my heart break at the fact that there are people in this country who do not receive the benefit of the doubt, ever.  I need to care enough to do something.  Something more than just write a blog post or share a powerful video clip.  I have to build genuine relationships with people of color and stop the whole ridiculous “I don’t see color” BS.  I need to see color and learn to appreciate it for what it is.  I need to allow myself to participate in and grow from and enjoy a culture that is not my own.  One that has its pluses and minuses like all others.  I need to be willing to get close enough to applaud when there is a victory, mourn when there is a loss and call it out when there is a shortcoming. I need to actually see my brothers and sisters of color as family.   I have a certain degree of power and privilege because of my skin color.  That is not something I need to feel guilty about.  I didn’t ask for it or seek it out, but I have it.  The responsibility for having it isn’t on me; but the responsibility for what I do with it is.

Thank you beyondtheglasswall

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This short article can give parents guidance in helping kids understand what they are hearing.

7 Tips for White Parents to Talk to Their Kids About Police Murders of Black People by Katie Tastrom

As a white parent of white kids it would be very easy to ignore the police murders of black people and other people of color. However, as a halfway decent person who wants to raise kids who are not monsters I believe that as white people talking to our kids about white privilege and what is happening in this country to people of color is the literal least we can do. I know it can be difficult to know what to say to kids and how to talk to them about these events, but it is imperative that we do. Here are some tips that have worked with my kids, but of course all families and kids are different so feel free to use what’s useful and discard the rest.

1. Remember Your Privilege.

Many white parents are scared that talking about police killings will traumatize their children. I can relate to this fear but it is important for white parents to remember that this conversation is nothing compared to the conversations Black families have to have. We need to prioritize creating white co-conspirators/allies and be constantly aware that other families are being torn apart by the police and the prison industrial complex. For us, parents of white kids, the stakes are really low and while of course we don’t want to traumatize our kids on purpose, if we are really going to try to work for a more just world it is a small price to pay.

2. Kids are Weirdos

Another note on being scared about traumatizing kids: kids are little awesome weirdos and they tend to be traumatized by things that you would never imagine and take other things in stride. For example, I watch tons of true crime shows and my kids have no issues with it, but if there are deer in the backyard my oldest son loses his shit. While of course talking about police killing Black folks indiscriminately should elicit some strong emotions in kids, having feelings about the horrible things happening in the world is not a bad thing, it’s part of being human.

More Radical Reads: 5 Ways I Teach My Children Intersectional Feminism… And Why It Matters

3. Don’t Forget to Focus on Black Resistance

If you just focus only on the ways that Black people are being victimized you may leave kids with the feeling that white people need to “save” them, and that is obviously not what you want the ‘takeaway’ to be. Black people have survived and fought against continuous threats to their survival in this country and continue to be the primary force working against racism and other injustices. The Black Lives Matter network and the Movement for Black Lives is a great place to start and you can also give kids some concrete ideas of things you can do together as a family to support Black led movements. However, it’s also important that you talk about the resistance movements of the past such as the fight against slavery, the civil rights movements, and the Black power movement. There are endless examples of Black resistance and resilience, make sure you include them

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4. Kids Understand Unfairness  

It may be daunting to think about having these conversations with young children, but you may be surprised at how quickly they understand. Kids are often more attuned to inequality and unfairness than adults. Children are naturally attuned to justice. If you ever doubt that try giving siblings a different amount of candy. Though this is much more serious, it is also very simple: Black people are treated unfairly with consequences up to and including death.

5. Kids Also Know About Death

Kids at different ages have different understandings of death, but even at three or four they understand that death exists, though they may not understand it is permanent. Either way, talking about people being killed is something that kids will have some kid-type concept of already and they will likely be able to fit this new information into what they already know.

6. Make Showing Up An Expectation

In our family we have set the expectation that our kids should say something or do something to combat racism whenever possible. This can be really complicated and nuanced as a white person of any age, and we all mess up sometimes, but I think it’s important that they understand that doing nothing in the face of injustice is not acceptable. Older kids will probably learn about bullying and not being a “bystander,” i.e. someone who allows bullying to go on in their presence. This framework has given us an easy way to talk about what we expect from them, but we also talk about the importance of following the lead of the people most affected.

More Radical Reads: Trusting and Listening: Parenting at the Intersection of Race and Disability

7. No Matter What – Keep Talking

White privilege, racism, and police brutality is not a conversation you can have once and stop there. Unfortunately, there are plenty of instances in the news you can use as a jumping off point for these conversations. Even if conversations don’t go quite as you planned, make sure to keep talking to your kids. They may not understand everything right now, but as they get older they will slowly get it.

It cannot be stressed enough how easy we, as white people, have it and how much racial privilege we have. I’m extremely open to hearing any critiques or comments about this list. As white parents we are given a really easy opportunity to help to make change and anyone who cares about justice can’t afford to keep quiet.

Are you looking for ways to practice radical self love in these troubling times of violence and oppression?  Check out our webinar 10 Tools for Radical Self Love

In the end, it is all about fairness and as Katie Tastrom said in her article, kids understand about unfairness. What parents tell children now will make a difference when they are older. Truth requires no explanation and it is easier to remember later on.

Thank you Ms. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez for guiding me to these magnificent pieces on Prejudice & Racism.

blacklivesmatter-banner-clf !!!!!!!!themilitantnegrobanner

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